Friday, April 9, 2010

friday at the masters

Today is Friday--with a capital F. It's the end of a long week, one that somehow feels as though it's lasted longer than five working days. I thought today would be a perfect day to introduce writer's journals to the kids. They could take the stack of magazines I keep in my classroom and cut out images and words that reflect their personalities and strengths, then decorate their journals in a way that has personal meaning. Hopefully, with a touch of their own style, the kids will be more likely to feel connected to their writing, and more motivated to share authentically in it. They dive into the magazines with zeal while I point out that the words and images they choose need to be appropriate.

"You mean no gang stuff?" says Jerome.

"Right," I respond.

"What about booze?" queries Paco.

"Yeah, we need to leave that out, too," I say. The boys seem unfazed by these parameters and go about their searching, cutting and gluing.

To go along with this relaxed atmosphere, I'm streaming live coverage of the Masters tournament. A few of the students here have been lucky enough to have been out on a golf course with a particularly kind staff member who happens to be a golf fanantic. Most, though, don't like golf. They don't follow it, don't care about it, and don't know of any golfers aside from Tiger Woods. But, I reason to myself, there's nothing like the sweet, tinkling sound of the piano music that they play during Masters coverage, the tweeting birds in the background, and the hushed voices of the commentators to set a relaxed tone. It's this kind of aural accompaniment that I think can really help keep the most explosive DYS resident fairly tame.

During 5th period, Alex remarks, "Yo Miss, you got any better music than this?"

"Why, you don't like it? This is the music they play whenever the Masters is on. It's supposed to be soft and calming, I guess," I point out.

"They don't got no Puerto Rican music? You know, bop bop bam bam, bop bop BAM!" Alex mimes.

"Yeah, I can see how that might liven things up a bit. But they tend not to play Puerto Rican music during golf tournaments. Especially this one. They like to keep things pretty chill."

I giggle to myself, imagining the brass at ESPN or CBS Sports or The Golf Channel trying to reach out to the Hispanic audience, experimenting with salsa music during the biggest golf event of the year.

Hmph. No wonder these kids can't relate to golf.

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